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Sunday, January 8, 2017

It's all in the messaging


From The Writer's Almanac:
Great Britain began wartime food rationing on this date in 1940. Every person was issued a ration book, and they would use the coupons inside to buy limited quantities of hard-to-obtain items like butter, sugar, and eggs. 
At the beginning, the rations per person, per week, were as follows: 4 ounces of butter; 12 ounces of sugar; 4 ounces of raw bacon or ham; 3.5 ounces of cooked bacon or ham; and 2 eggs. As the war dragged on, other meats, bread, tea, and clothing were rationed as well. Children aged five and older had their own books; children younger than five were expected to share their parents’ rations. Often mothers of young children would find that extra food had been slipped into their shopping bags by the shopkeepers, free of charge. 
Rationing continued for several years after the war, finally ending in 1954.
The difference between socialist Britain and free-market paradise America is, in the UK rationing was something to be gotten past, though it took fourteen years to do so.

In America, we call it welfare, and Republicans have spent thirty-five years making it ever-harder to receive and ever-more difficult to get nourishing food with. In many states, the humiliations they have imposed include restrictions on what one can buy so that those better off know there are still people not eating as well as they are, and the administration of drug tests to make sure the poor aren't using their hoarded money on illegal drugs.

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